Sunday, March 23, 2014

What the Bible Teaches About Baptism

“Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” -Matthew 28:19

“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. -Romans 6:3-5; also Colossians 2:12; Matthew 3:13-17; John 3:23; Acts 8:38.

What is the first commandment for a new believer?
To be baptized.

Why do Baptists practice Believer’s Baptism by Immersion?
First, why believers?
Only believers were baptized in the New Testament. You have to be old enough to understand and voluntarily trust in Jesus, therefore infants are not baptized. Faith comes first, then baptism.
Second, why immersion?
The NT Greek word for baptize (baptizo) means to immerse, dip, or plunge. In NT times they practiced immersion.
Immersion presents the true picture of baptism. It is a symbol of a death, burial, and resurrection. When you bury someone, you don’t sprinkle a little dirt on their head, you cover them up.

What are the three things baptism represents?
1. Jesus died for my sins, was buried, and rose again.
2. Death to your old life of sin and a new life in Christ.
3. Baptism is also a picture of the final resurrection. When a Christian dies, his body is buried and his soul, spirit goes to Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). But when Jesus comes again, the departed saints will come with Him and their physical bodies will be resurrected (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15).

Is baptism a part of salvation?
No, faith alone in Christ alone is what saves us. Baptism is a good work, but we are not saved by good works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If a person trusts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but dies before they are baptized, will they go to Heaven?
Yes. The thief on the cross believed in Jesus but died before having a chance to be baptized (Luke 23:39-43). Jesus assured, “this day you will be with Me in paradise.“ But if it is possible, we are to obey the biblical command and be baptized.

Is baptism really important?
Yes. The Bible commands it and Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to set an example for us. Jesus walked about 60 miles from Galilee to the southern part of the Jordan River to be baptized. Would you be willing to walk 60 miles to be baptized?

Why is baptism practiced in a public place in front of others?
Baptism is a personal testimony that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and you want the church and the world to know. Your baptism says you believe Jesus died for you and rose again; that you have died to your old life of sin and have a new life in Christ; and that you believe in the resurrection at the Return of Christ. It is a way of taking a public stand for Christ.

Will a person baptized in another way go to Heaven?
What determines if we go to Heaven is whether we have personally received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, not our mode or kind of baptism. But we should seek to be true to the Scripture and the commands of our Lord.

Who can baptize?
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances (special commands given by the Lord for the church to follow) of the church, so the local church has the authority to baptize.

“Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead.” -Baptist Faith & Message, 2000; doctrinal statement of the Southern Baptist Convention.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 23, AD 2014.

Other Articles:
The Roman Road of Salvation
Dr. Robert Wring on Baptists and Elder Rule Why I Support the Baptist Association, Part 1
Basic Baptist Doctrines / Beliefs
Baptists and Eternal Security, or Once Saved Always Saved; Part 1 of 3
Cooperative Program Not Intended to Send Money to International Missions
Random Advice to Pastors, Part 1
Other articles in lower right margin. 

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